By Jody Houser, Pere Perez, Marguerite Sauvage, Colleen Doran, Andrew Dalhouse
Faith #1, the new ongoing series starring Harbinger alum Faith Herbert, hits the ground running. If this first issue is any indication, the new ongoing will be even better than the titular miniseries.
The story picks up after the recent events in the miniseries. Rather than employ a prologue, the book opens with an introductory portion that serves as both an origin and a recap. This allows new users to jump on board without any prior knowledge. It flows nicely into the main story, smoothly getting readers up-to-date on Faith’s current circumstances.
Writer Jody Houser wastes no time in getting the current narrative underway. Faith almost literally flies headfirst into trouble, encountering unknown tech and an unknown adversary. There is no slow build-up to confrontation, resulting in a crisis that hints at an even more sinister plot. Houser deftly integrates the secondary storyline of Faith’s struggle to balance a normal life with that of being a superhero. She remains true to Faith’s personality quirks, using pop culture to shape our view of Faith’s personality without pandering. In short, she defines Faith’s fundamental values in the timeless heroic fashion while using current nerd culture to make the character modern. The result is a believably flawed and relatable character for fans of superheroes and of geek elite.
Tonally, the story feels like a dramedy, using humor to enlighten it without dipping into the dark comedy realm. Faith’s story is relevant to the Valiant U, and she doesn’t take her responsibilities lightly. It’s Faith’s musings and personality that parlay into humor.
It may be her solo title, but Faith is not alone. Returning to the lineup are her coworkers from the miniseries as well as appearances from the larger Valiant Universe. It’s a pleasure to read a tale that doesn’t operate in a vacuum despite its ability to function solo. The events in this title may not be world-changing, but its effects ripple out to the larger universe – and in turn, the events within Faith are a result of what happened in earlier series such as Harbinger and X-O Manowar. It will be interesting to see how the interactions in this book correspond to those in other ongoing titles, specifically A&A.
Artist Pere Perez illustrates the majority of the book with Marguerite Sauvage and Colleen Doran handling the fantasy sequence and origin story respectively. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse unifies the pieces with a light color scheme.
With multiple artists on the title, one might expect a disjointed look, but that is not the case here. Though each artist has their own style, they mesh well together. Doran’s origin panels exude emotion – each panel encompasses a unique feeling, be that joy, pride, resolve, or anguish. Her style complements Perez’s work. Perez excels at directing the eye and creating movement within the frame. Clean lines and light inking, along with Dalhouse’s pastel color palette, make the art feel light and airy – an excellent fit for a story about a flier. Sauvage’s fantasy scenes are resplendent. Reflective of Faith’s idealized reality, they give the reader insight into Faith’s identity.
Faith is a fan favorite for good reason – relatable and ethical, she represents the best in us – the heart of a hero and friend. Her new solo venture lets her continue to grow in maturity and ability, and she’s taking us along for the ride. Faith is hitting the big time in more ways than one, and her story is relevant to the greater Valiant Universe. Don’t miss out on this enjoyable story.